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DirectTV
Old 12-09-2005, 11:02 AM   #1
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DirectTV

Let me just rant for a minute...

I currently have dish network, works OK, but as usual their competitor, directtv will give me all kinds of freebies for switching to them; same basic monthly charge, but all new equipment and a DVR and a DVD player; my equipment needs upgrading anyway,so I figured why not...

First I tried putting an order in on the website..tried 3 different times on 3 different days; hung up all 3 times at the same place and wouldn't let me proceed....

So as much as I hated to do it I called the 800 number to order it (knowing full well it would be someone from india that I could barely understand)...

A computer answers the phone, asks a few questions (i.e. new or existing customer, english or spanish etc) and then asks for my 10 digit phone number, presumably to setup an account...so I key it in. the phone transfers...

a live person (with a heavy accent BTW)..."can I please have your 10 digit ph# please?" "How can I help you?" (Keep in mind, the computer already asked for my ph# and already asked me if I was requesting new service)...but I give the number and my request again. "Just a minute please, while I transfer you".

Now a 2nd person answers, same accent..."Can* have your 10 digit ph# please"...grrrr, but I oblige. "How can I help you"...grrrrr, but I tell them again "I want to order service"..."OK, thank you, just a minute please while I transfer you....

3rd person answers the phone, same accent "Can I have your 10 digit ph# please?".....I just hung up in disbeleif.


Is this company for real? Can you imagine how bad service will be if I have a problem AFTER I am already locked into a 24 month contract?

It is no wonder it is so easy to become rich in this country if you have 1/2 a brain and a decent work ethic..there are just so many dumb people and stupid companies...offer an employer or customer GREAT service at a fair price and you are almost guaranteed to become successfull....

Now I guess I wait a few years for cable...if it ever comes.
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Re: DirectTV
Old 12-09-2005, 11:25 AM   #2
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Re: DirectTV

I long for the days when guys like Tom Peters were everyones heroes.
It does seem like the sure ticket to success today is to offer mindboggling service and then tell the world about it.* Sort of whats old could be new. :
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Re: DirectTV
Old 12-09-2005, 11:34 AM   #3
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Re: DirectTV

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPatrick
I long for the days when guys like Tom Peters were everyones heroes.
It does seem like the sure ticket to success today is to offer mindboggling service and then tell the world about it.* Sort of whats old could be new. :
In the interest of "fair and balanced"- - -
I ordered 2 Ipod Nanos from a live person at Apple the other day. In a word the experience was outstanding!
Plus I had an email followup in about 5 minutes.
Promised to ship in 2 business days and actually shipped in one day.
I can see why the Apple heads are nutty about their company
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Re: DirectTV
Old 12-09-2005, 11:43 AM   #4
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Re: DirectTV

I've actually had good luck with DirecTV - although I've heard plenty of people who have had the same experience as you.* Not specific to DirecTV, but whenever I get a voice mail menu system, I usually ignore all requests to punch in a number on a phone, which often gets me a live person pretty quick - the idea is they think I don't have a touchtone phone.* Doesn't always work, but it's usually worth a minute to try it first.*
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Re: DirectTV
Old 12-09-2005, 12:13 PM   #5
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Re: DirectTV

I've had good luck with DirecTV too. Nothing to complain about yet, although even with the myriad of channels I have, you can still go through periods where there's nothing good on. That old Bruce Springsteen song "Fifty-Seven Channels and Nothing On" still rings true!

I haven't gotten the the point that I've played Elvis yet, though!
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Re: DirectTV
Old 12-09-2005, 01:45 PM   #6
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Re: DirectTV

I self installed one of the early directv receivers (~late 1993/early 1994 IIRC) after the local cable company failed to install the product at my house in three attempts. They kept showing up with cable boxes with knob tuners on them and no remote controls, even though I told them the first two times that I wanted remote control boxes. After the third attempt, the installer flat out told me "thats all we've got, take it or leave it buddy".

I think I paid about $800 for that first dish and receiver. I had them for seven years. Loved the picture and sound quality and the range of channels for the money made for an exceptional value.

Bundling deals for high speed cable internet and cable tv drove me to drop them when I moved to the current household, although again the cable company managed to drive me nuts with horrible service and regular signal loss.

I had directv reinstalled. Mixed experience. I had no trouble at all ordering service, although the guy I ordered it from assured me they would put it in within "a day or two". The actual appointment was a week away. Unfortunately I had already scheduled my cable removal for two days prior to that. A call in to complain bought me six months of $20 credit on my bill per month, which was worth calling comcast to reschedule the removal.

Comcast, true to their record, couldnt even find the box in my neighborhood to disconnect my catv service. They figure its in someones front yard and was covered by landscaping. Although they didnt actually do anything, they still charged me a $15 disconnection fee. Calling to complain got me a drop in my HSI service from $55 a month to $29 for six months.

First lesson learned, call to complain often.

The directv installers, as has been my experience since they went to free installs...sucked. Couple of non english speaking guys who were polite, but one was showing the other how to do the work while his boss was calling him every 15 minutes to find out if he was done yet and what was taking him so long. He installed the switches wrong, didnt fully secure the dish, and when they mixed up a couple of receivers and used the wrong serial numbers when trying to activate the service, tried to blame me for mixing them up. I called directv back and they sent a very competent installer who fixed the whole thing, and they threw in a 6x8 multiswitch instead of the included 3x8, so i'm set for HDTV if I ever get it installed.

I got 2 directv dvr's (tivos) in the deal for $99, and bought a 3rd at walmart for $99. Sold my old 3 tivo's on ebay for about $900. Finally got back my money on that first directv receiver.

Since then, I have to say the service is terrible. While the installers activated the directv service, they didnt activate the DVR service. I called and got an obvious indian rep. His english was excellent, and he was very polite, but he couldnt understand what I was saying and kept trying to reactivate the directv service rather than the dvr service. When he finally figured it out he explained I would be charged a $5 per month fee for it. I mentioned that I was receiving the directv platinum package as a promo and that the dvr fee was included in that. He thought I was asking about the promo package and went on and on explaining it before I gave up and thanked him for his help.

Of course I was billed for the $5 fee. I called and complained and after getting a supervisor, had it removed.

Two weeks later I had a living room full of people watching a recording-in-progress football game on Sunday Ticket. At halftime the game went blank and all we got was a white screen that said 'directv' in the middle. I called and got an english speaking guy who apologized profusely but said that he showed no problems and while he was sorry, that was that.

The next month, I got billed a late fee for payment. Funny because on day 1 I signed up for the auto payment service. They charged my credit card a day after the billing due date, then applied the late fee. I had to talk to the regular indian call center rep for 15 minutes before she'd give me a supervisor. She kept explaining that I was charged because I paid late. I kept explaining that I did not pay late, they had charged me late. After 5 minutes with the supervisor, who also didnt 'get it', he decided that it was easier to give me a credit than to continue the discussion. Both were excellent english speakers, and very polite. But neither could understand me for squat.

My first experience with outsourced call centers as a customer. Six months ago I'd have highly recommended directv due to the long term high quality service and product I received from them. Now I wouldnt do that.

Hope they saved a big bunch of money with that outsourcing.

That having been said, I was with dish network for a year and it was the worst customer and product experience in my life. And that was with US based employees. The receivers failed several times, the answer to any customer service call was to unplug your receiver and plug it back in, rinse and repeat. The picture quality on local channels was awful. It didnt work well with my tivo, they knew it, and didnt care. They wanted me to buy their dvr. The rudest and most unpleasant customer service reps I've ever dealt with. I can easily see why Dish has been repeatedly sued in a number of states and lost every time...
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Re: DirectTV
Old 12-09-2005, 03:56 PM   #7
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Re: DirectTV

Quote:
Originally Posted by farmerEd
A computer answers the phone, asks a few questions (i.e. new or existing customer, english or spanish etc) and then asks for my 10 digit phone number, presumably to setup an account...so I key it in. the phone transfers...

a live person (with a heavy accent BTW)..."can I please have your 10 digit ph# please?" "How can I help you?" (Keep in mind, the computer already asked for my ph# and already asked me if I was requesting new service)...but I give the number and my request again. "Just a minute please, while I transfer you".
Most companies have their phone system asking you for various account information and then you are asked by a phone clerk to repeat the same info. It becomes really annoying. I think the companies are trying to keep you on hold because they are have limited phone staff so they give you busy work. I usually either enter "0" or just wait until a real person get on.

You think that's frustrating. I called Etrade yesterday to ask a couple questions that would help me decide about opening up an online 6month CD. I reached the new account dept, but saw that they couldn't answer my questions so I asked to be transfered to the banking dept. When I was transfered, I asked my questions and realized after several minutes that I was speaking to someone who couldn't answer my questions because this was the brokerage dept. I ask the CS rep to transfer me to the banking dept. I got transfered back to the new accounts dept. I asked again to be transfered, letting them know what happened previously. I was told don't worry i'll transfer you to the banking dept now. I got transfered right back to the brokerage dept. Now I'm getting pissed. I asked the brokerage clerk to carefully transfer me and he transfers me right back to the brokerage dept again. I hung up. Groung Hog Day all over again, again and again. It didn't end there but I'm not going to bore you with any more detail.

Quote:
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First lesson learned, call to complain often.
When I got layed off last March, I lost my free DSL service after 2 months. I changed the ISP to verizon who was having some nice deals to compete with cablevision. The service was provisioned for 1500K but during some evenings weekends, I would get only 300k to 600k. Everytime this happened. I would call billing to complain and get a nice credit. After 1 month of usage, I was able to get about 3 months of credits.

MJ
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Re: DirectTV
Old 12-09-2005, 07:17 PM   #8
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Re: DirectTV

DH and I have had Dish for a year or two. Great service, install tec OK. A year later we had a problem and got a real pro who fixed a minor but important oversight by the first guy. I have warn out the remote.

I just wish Dish offered TIVO. Dish's DVR only workes on scheduled time and doesn't 'think' like TIVO does. We put the old TIVO on the bedroom Dish receiver and it works fine but we can't record a program when watching another like we could with cable.

Our cable vendor, Comcast, $!$!! prices.
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Re: DirectTV
Old 12-09-2005, 08:15 PM   #9
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Re: DirectTV

You guys are making me glad that I don't watch TV.

I'm also happy that I'm only paying $36/month for minimal CATV. Four VCRs from a local pawnshop took care of the multiple-recording problem for less than $100.

But someday Time-Warner will raise their rates again, and I'm ready-- I still have the directional broadcast antenna in the attic ready for hookup.
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Re: DirectTV
Old 12-09-2005, 09:19 PM   #10
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Re: DirectTV

Probably within 30 days*
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Re: DirectTV
Old 12-10-2005, 05:53 AM   #11
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Re: DirectTV

DirecTV's sales and service people have no discernable connection except possibly that they report up to the same CEO. And their phone system's a bad joke by Rube Goldberg.

Their tech guy told me I could have four tuners for the price of two that month. I told him I only needed two and he insisted. Said it made his job easier. So I have these two fancy-schmancy sattelite tuners sitting in my storage room collecting dust. Next summer I plan to blow them up somehow, along with an old dishwasher and a bunch of records from my landlord days.

When I signed up I opted for the promo 3-month trial package that the salesperson said included "every channel DirecTV carries." Then of course when the techs wired the whole shebang together I found I had no MLBTV, etc. I bitched a blue streak and wound up getting my promo costs refunded and a couple of months' credit. But it took, like, a couple of hours of ranting. It's the sort of thing that makes me want to lay on the couch and holler for beer.

Ed
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Re: DirectTV
Old 12-10-2005, 06:18 AM   #12
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Re: DirectTV

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brat
Our cable vendor, Comcast, $!$!! prices.*
What do you guys pay for cable? We pay $41 month for "basic" satellite from Dish; no movie channels. that includes an abc/nbc and cbs channel out of NYC which is an extra cost; we can't get anything local. Even the antenna on the roof won't pick much of anything up.
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Re: DirectTV
Old 12-13-2005, 01:57 PM   #13
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Re: DirectTV

$12/month for "basic" (around 26 channels). This is through Time Warner Cable. All basic network channels, USA, TNT, WGN from chicago. A couple community access channels, 2 Espanol channels, and the local 24 hour news channel. Time Warner is making a killing off of us from our $47 Roadrunner hi-speed service.
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Re: DirectTV
Old 12-13-2005, 02:06 PM   #14
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Re: DirectTV

$125mo. for cable/broadband. All movie channels, plus HD programming. Likely to reduce the cable package back to Starz/Encore for "some" savings...

Comcastic??
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Re: DirectTV
Old 12-13-2005, 02:55 PM   #15
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Re: DirectTV

We pay $48 per mo. including taxes for Comcast's expanded basic. It's about 50-60 channels I think. I would go for the cheaper basic, but for the lack of Fox Sports in the limited lineup.

My pet peeve is ads and offers with artificially low 3 month introductory rates, that don't tell you what the "real" rate is. You have to make a bunch of annoying phone calls just to compare prices.

My feeling is that I'd switch to Dish or Direct TV if I could get a clear concise offer of what I'm paying and what I'm getting. But if they keep sending me teaser ads, then F'em.
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Re: DirectTV
Old 12-13-2005, 03:59 PM   #16
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Re: DirectTV

Well if you don't like direct TV then today is your day.
<<DirecTV to Pay for Do-Not-Call Violations - AP - Tue 1:52 pm ET
DirecTV Inc. will pay $5.34 million to settle charges that its telemarketers called households listed on the national do-not-call registry to pitch satellite TV programming, Federal Trade Commission officials said Tuesda>>

Plus, they got hammered for about 5 mil yesterday for misreprsenting their products.*
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Re: DirectTV
Old 12-13-2005, 07:36 PM   #17
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Re: DirectTV

Couldn't happen to better people. Dare to ignore the law and be punished severely.
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Re: DirectTV
Old 12-13-2005, 08:40 PM   #18
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Re: DirectTV

I'm glad to see that the do-not-call law is actually being enforced. I was amazed at how much peace this law actually brought into our dinner hours.
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Re: DirectTV
Old 12-13-2005, 09:43 PM   #19
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Re: DirectTV

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
I'm glad to see that the do-not-call law is actually being enforced.* * I was amazed at how much peace this law actually brought into our dinner hours.
Yup, a guvmint program that really works!* (knocking on wood)
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Re: DirectTV
Old 12-14-2005, 07:20 PM   #20
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Re: DirectTV

It works very well. Relief once it took effect.
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